AAP Soccer

Spain humiliate Croatia in Nations League

By AAP Newswire

Spain have made it two wins from two in the Nations League with a 6-0 thrashing of Croatia while Belgium opened their campaign with a 3-0 win in Iceland.

Fresh from their away win over England, Spain proved too strong for the World Cup finalists with a first half blitz effectively settling the tie in Luis Enrique's home debut as coach.

Saul Niguez, Marco Asensio and an own goal from visiting keeper Lovre Kalinic set Spain en route to a perfect six points to top League A Group 4.

Rodrigo, Sergio Ramos and Isco completed the record defeat for Croatia, who are bottom on goal difference.

Belgium joined Switzerland on three points in Group A2 after an Eden Hazard penalty and a double from Romelu Lukaku saw off Iceland .

Iceland are without a point after two matches.

Bosnia lead B3 on six points thanks to Edin Dzeko's late goal in a 1-0 defeat of Austria, who are joint bottom with Northern Ireland.

Finland have a 100 per cent record in C2 thanks to Teemu Pukki's first half goal in a 1-0 win over Estonia while Roland Sallai and Laszlo Kleinheisler gave Hungary a 2-1 win over Greece, who had levelled through Konstantinos Manolas, to leave both teams on three points.

Luxembourg won again, away to bottom team San Marino in D2. They have a two-point advantage over Belarus, who drew 0-0 with Moldova.

Croatia made a bright start in Elche but they were made to pay for Ivan Rakitic - earning his 100th cap - curling an effort wide and Ivan Perisic failing to convert from close range when they were on top.

"After the first 20 minutes, we found space and we played between their lines," Luis Enrique said.

"Our attitude has been commendable."

Dani Carvajal's outside of the foot cross was attacked brilliantly by Niguez whose header broke the deadlock in the 24th minute.

Asensio doubled the lead on 33 minutes and moments later created the third when his long-range shot struck the bar and found the net after rebounding off the unfortunate Kalinic.

Rodrigo scored shortly after the break and Ramos headed in a corner before the hour as Croatia fell apart.

Isco fired a sixth in a defeat worst than Croatia's previous record loss, 5-1 against England in 2009.

"We were not even a shadow of a team from before," Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said.

"We need to know that it is a problem."

Iceland were humbled 6-0 in Switzerland in their opening game and scarcely fared better against Belgium.

Hazard opened the scoring from the spot just before the half hour, after Lukaku was fouled in the box, and the Manchester United striker netted himself minutes later.

Lukaku added another on 81 minutes to seal the comfortable win.